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Special Report With Bret Baier

News/Business. Bret Baier. The latest news from inside the Beltway. New.

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Virginia 15, Afghanistan 9, New York 9, Christie 8, U.s. 7, New Jersey 7, Bob Mcdonnell 6, Bret 6, Owens 5, Chris Christie 5, Jon Corzine 5, Us 4, Corzine 4, Washington 4, Molly 3, Juan 3, Ha 3, Reid 3, Obama 3, Bill Owens 2,
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  FOX News    Special Report With Bret Baier    News/Business. Bret Baier. The  
   latest news from inside the Beltway. New.  

    November 3, 2009
    6:00 - 7:00pm EST  

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[captioning made possible by fox news channel] captioned by the national captioning institute ---www.ncicap.org---^ bret: next, breaking news on capitol hill as senate democrats indicate healthcare reform may not be completed by the president's headline and a handful of races could serve as a referendum on president obama. we will have live team fox coverage. what will the results today say about next year's midterm elections? we will take a fair and balanced look. could a reference to his weight weigh down down the new jersey governor? all that on "special report" which starts right now. welcome to "america's election headquarters" in new york. i'm bret baier. americans all over the country pulled a lever, punch add ballot or touched a key pad for an issue they support. we have fox news team coverage
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from new york, new jersey, virginia and the white house in a moment, but first -- this is a fox news alert. it appears president obama's time line of getting healthcare reform legislation passed before the calendar turns will now go the way of so many other deadlines we have seen come and go this year. james rosen reports on this breaking news from capitol hill. >> good evening. none of the president's democratic al highs made it explicit today that they will fail to meet the president's self-imposed deadline on healthcare reform but neither did it require 20/20 vision to read as much between the lines. >> top senate democrats with asked a simple question -- whether they still expect to pass healthcare reform by year's end, but their answers were not so simple. >> we're not going to be bound by any time lines. we need to do the best job we
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can for the american people. >> and new york senator charles schumer declared that healthcare reform would be done by christmas today declared to move with all deliberate speed. top senate republicans seem to revel in senator reid's predicament. >> when we get it on the floor, assuming there are 60 votes to take it up, which i understand is a bit of a challenging exercise for him right now, it must be dealt with a seriousness that a matter of this magnitude deserves to be dealt with. how long that takes, i can't tell you. >> we will get healthcare done this year! >> it was less than thee weeks ago that president obama vowed he would deliver healthcare in 2009. on the house side, democrats finalized their bill, which they hope to bring to the floor for a vote this
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saturday, a key democratic chairman suggested party factions had come to terms on a crucial sticking point. >> we have set up a system where there will be a no government funds used for abortions. >> except in rare cases, federal law prohibits federal funds from being used to pay for abortions. pro-life advocates say the reform package will subsidize benefits for individuals who can, in turn, use their insurance plans to obtain an abortion. chairman waxman said there will be no such loophole. house g.o.p. leaders were talking up their own as yet unpublished healthcare reform bill saying it would incrementally improve on the existing infrastructure. >> yes, our plan is the only plan that really does end junk lawsuits. >> late today, a spokesman for senator reid issued a statement saying it remains his goal to achieve healthcare reform by year's end, that there is no reason why they can't do that. what was lacking in the
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statement, bret was any reaffirmation of the vow that they will get healthcare done by year's end. >> we'll see. james rosen live on capitol hill. thanks. >> now back to election day 2009. we begin with the new jersey governor's race. it's getting a lot of attention tonight. shannon bream is live in east brunswick. good evening, shannon. >> hi, bret. this race is coming down to the wire, despite the fact that just a year ago new jersey went solidly for president obama by a margin of 15 points. democrats are pulling out all the stops to try to hold on to this traditionally blue state. governor corzine knows he has a lot of work on his hands. there his base were clearly energized during last year's election but that fervor has not shown up yet in this year's polling. >> i feel like we've got a lot
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of momentum coming from behind, and i think we're still moving positively, and the only poll that counts is the one that's going on right now between 6:00 and 8:00. >> to win this race, chris christie would have to do what no republican has been able to pull off since 1993. that is the last time a republican unseateded a democratic incumbent governor. today he sounded like he believed that was possible. >> the republican party will be here tomorrow one way or another. i believe they will be stronger tomorrow because we'll have a republican governor in new jersey and so that's going to make our party stronger. it's also going to place a great deal of responsibility on our party to govern. >> don't forget about the third party candidate, chris daggett. polls indicate he has been pulling votes away from both top contenders and what his supporters do today could be a deciding factor. registered democrats outnumber republicans here in the garden
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state but both parties are dwarfed by the 2.4 million unof a fill yated registered voters. it will be a couple of hours before we know where that important group lands. if history is any indicator, turnout, whether heavy or height, will also be a strong factor. bret. bret: we'll be watching. thank you. the commonwealth of virginia is also picking up a new chief executive today, chief political correspondent carl cameron is at capital of richmond tonight. >> it has been years that virginia has been trending democratic. it has 8 years of democratic governors. last year, president obama won virginia, the first time a democrat has done that in decade. tonight it looks like old dough minion might be change changing colors from blue to red r bob mcdonnell has been across the state looking for votes, last-minute phone calls and the phone banking machine has been manning the lines an bob mcdonnell suggested that, indeed, washington national
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issues may have had some role in what he hopes will be this evening's success. bob mcdonnell from earlier today. >> i do think that some of this overreach of the congress on taxes and spending and regulations has been a pretty clear point of departure between my opponent and i. he has either been for it or ambivalent. i have been strongly against t i think with the independent voters they have not embraced some of these policies coming out of washington, and i think that has helped me in this election. creigh deeds has been campaigning hard for weeks. he has had a hard time energizing the obama coalition. he was looking for a big turnout from young voters, african-americans, particularly liberal voters as well as a general enthusiasm from the obama coalition of last year. that may fall short and yet today after he voted for him self, he tried to put a brave faift of opt mix on today's results. here is what he had to say. >> it has been a wild ride,
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but we are r. the end is sight and we're working as hard as we k >> still on that final get out the vote? >> absolutely. the people that show up today are the ones that are going to make a decision. that's the only poll that counts, is the one taken from 6:00 this morning until 7:00 tonight, that's the poll that matters. >> polls close in just under an hour. the mcdonnell campaign hopes that tonight the first victory of the 2009 campaign goes in the republican column. bret. >> it sounds like the only poll that count goes from 6 to 8. we have heard that. >> perhaps the most unusual of the races is in upstate new york. that's where molly line is tonight. good evening, molly. >> good evening, bret. the electorate in upstate new york heads to the polls after amazing developments over the weekend much one candidate pulls out and two remain in an extraordinary contest. >> two very different
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candidates are left standing in the battle for the seat in new york's 23rd congressional district. bill owens, the democrat facing off against doug hoffman, the conservative party candidate. at the polls this morning, owens said the voters have a cheer choice. >> we can go backward to the bushany da which includes tax cuts for the wealthy, privatization of social security, or they can move forward with us hoffman is pro life, promises to cut taxes and reduce government spending. his backing is the the backing of fred some thompson and sarah palin. he says he is fighting to the republican party grassroots' support. >> nancy pelosi, spending out of control, taxing and government regulations, it's not right for the country. >> are you fired up and ready to go? >> owens picked up the backing of dede scozzafava who pulled out saturday as a pro choice
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pro gay marriage candidate she held appeal among democrats and independents who could veer towards the owens camp. however the majority of her backers back the independent. it has sparked much debate whether it is evidence of a rift in the g.o.p. or an anomaly rather than voters choosing the nominee. john boehner said today the race indicates political rebellion among conservatives is bigger than most people imagine. >> they don't have a primary in new york. if they had a primary, are this would have been resolved months ago. what has happened over the last two to thee weeks has been the republican primary. >> republican leaders have unified behind hoffman in these final hours. the republican congressional committee has been making over 140,000 calls on his behalf. labor organizations whose votes were split before scozzafava got out of the race
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have gotten behind owens. both sides are getting a boost as the final hours come in. >> molly line in upstate new york. thank you. there is one other open congressional seat in california's heavily democratic tenth district outside san francisco. lieutenant governor john garamendi is vying for the spot. plenty more election coverage on this new new york edition of "special report." up next, the stakes for president obama. boss:hey, glad i caught you. i was on my way to present ideas
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>> president obama has invested heavily in the governors' races in new jersey and virginia. major garrett is live with what's going on at white house tonight and i assume they're looking at the results soon. >> they're looking at the results but they won't talk
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about them tonight. the white house decided last night it wouldn't put any of its top spokesmen or political advisors on camera tonight which is and an early indication they don't expect to have a good evening. they expect bob mcdonnell will be called the victor in virginia, creigh deeds did not run closely enough with the obama message an identify himself enough with the obama presidency. new jersey, they're hoping the president's visit there saturday will eke out a victory for jon corzine who said he is a partner with this white house f they do eke it out, the white house will take some credit. don't forget the special election in new york, 23rd district, created baw john mc kuhn left and don't expect a lot of good news and lsh the
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democratic national commission has put out talking points according to 2001 when the bush white house said election results didn't matter because that's what the democratic white house will say tonight, whatever happens doesn't matter much either. bret: thank you, major. today's elections are just a taste of what will happen next year when every seat of the house and a third of the u.s. senate will be on the ballot. jim angle reports that the first midterm elections of most presidencies have not been kind to the party in power. >> only two presidents in the last century have avoided losses in the house for their party in the first midterm elections, george w. bush in the aftermath of the at that time ak attacks on 9/11 and franklin roosevelt in 1934 during his efforts to combat the depression. >> those are the two exceptions. in the other cases since world war ii, about 17 house seats have been lost on average in
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the first midterm election for the president's party. >> no one expects the republicans to win the 40 seats they need to take back the house but they're likely to start chipping away. that's not comforting to those working to re-elect democrats in 2010, but neither is it a surprise. away back in january, we made it clear to our members on the democratic side, get ready, fasten your seatbelts because this will be a tough cycle. the good news for us is they have been preparing since day one. >> the first round of congressional elections for a new president is always a challenge, for one thinking the soaring rhetoric about coming together for which mr. obama was famous for was more unifying than governing. >> so you've got liberal now, and some of them complaining that the obama administration is not doing enough in the direction they'd like to see. >> not enough, for instance, to push a full bore government healthcare option or wind down the wars in iraq and
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afghanistan among other things while policy decisions can sap the enthusiasm of supporters, they can also energize opponents amplet threw is a lot of enthusiasm among opponents of the president's programs and much less enthusiasm among the democrats an obama fans than there was a year ago. >> democrats have a comfortable margin in the house. that is not the case in the senate where democrats have just enough votes to prevail. >> if the republicans are able to bring the democrats down from their current 60 to even 57 or 58, they will be able to win a lot of votes on the floor of the senate since of course you need 60 to cut off debate. >> and avoid a filibuster. with slimmer margins in both houses, the most ambitious parts of the president's agenda could be at risk, because the midterm elections can determine how much support and running room a president has or whether his power starts to wane halfway through his term in office.
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bret: jim, thanks. orders to u.s. factories were up 9/10 of a percentage point in september, the fifth increase in six months. stocks were mixed. dow down 17 1/2. s&p 500 gained 2 1/2. nasdaq picked up about 8. when is a fat joke not funny? one answer might be during a political campaign. we'll explain. and afghanistan's president says corruption is no laughing matter.
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bret: the u.s. is stepping up the pressure on afghanistan's president to clean up his government. a white house spokesman said concrete action is needed. wendell goler reports this are indications that the message is getting through. >> a day after learning he won
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a second term, president karzai promised to address the government corruption he is believed to have turned a blind eye to in his first. >> the mission is to work toward a clean, effective legally bound government. >> the white house recalled president obama's admonition yesterday that deeds, not words are what mattered but wouldn't go beyond that. >> this is not just rhetoric. there has to be deliverables to this. i don't want to get ahead of where the process is at this point in commenting on some of those specifics. >> spokesman robert gibbs suggests the deliverables are more likely to impact international aid than stanley mcchrystal's request for 40,000 more troops. gibbs says that decision is weeks away and some experts believe the delay suggests that the president doesn't support the counter counterinsurgency strategy. >> we had a strategy put
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forward by general mcchrystal. the strategy will be underresourced and my sense is that that is a strategy for disaster. >> brooks says that karzai's popularity dropped sharply outside of kabul and be of a afghanistan's corruption is hard to overstate. >> it is a tremendous concern a lot of resources that can go into afghanistan that can be used for special purposes are bled off to corruption. angela merkel said afghanistan was discussed in an oval office meeting and in an address to congress she promised continued support for the military mission. >> we continue to travel this road together every step of the way. germany stands ready to shoulder its responsibility. >> but the heads of the european union who met with the president later in the day say there is no appetite in their countries for sending additional troops to afghanistan. aides say whatever strategy the president approves, whether it is general mcchrystal's full
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counterinsurgency or something less, it will require karzai to deal with corruption and poor governance. success in afghanistan, they say, will not come with the status quo. bret: wendell goler live on the north lawn. thank you. in news elsewhere around the world, north korea says had has completed reprocessing spent fuel rods giving it more fuel for weapons, the announcement coming one day after they called for direct talks with the u.s. over are nuclear issues. at the hague, former bosnian serb leader appeared at his u.n. war crimes tribunal for the first time. he boycotted the opening sessions last week and he says he will continue his boycott if he cannot have more time to prepare his defense. he is accused of jen side. >> lawmakers want to know why a committee is all black and
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bret: and now frsh pickings from the political grapevine. monday we told you detainees may get h1n1 vaccines before many american citizens. during today's white house briefing, robert gibbs was emphatic, saying this -- >> there is no vaccine in
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guantanomo and there is no vaccine on the way to guantanomo. >> so the pentagon was wrong when they confirmed that friday? >> i don't know what they said. i know yesterday when asking whether there was any vaccine there or on the way, the answer was no to both questions. there wasn't there and there wasn't any on the way. bret: the pentagon spokesman brian whitman tells fox news the vaccine is expected to be delivered to the detention facility sometime near the end of this month. back here in the u.s., the centers for disease control is still struggling with a vaccine shortage. the c.d.c. director said today the agency is seeing an increase in availability but, quote, not nearly as much as we would have liked. some african-american members of congress are outraged that all 7 ongoing how house ethics committee probes focus on black lawmakers. one african-american democrat tells politico says "is there concern when someone is trying to set up black caucus
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members? yeah, there is. it looks like there is somebody out there who understands what the rules are and end sends names to the ethics committee with the goal of going after the c.b.c. & aide says "it's kind of crazy. how could it be that they only investigate african-americans? it doesn't make sense. the ethics committee, which is one by the democratic majority, has one african-american lawmaker among its ten members. committee members and staff chose not to answer questions about the racial disparity in the investigations. rhode island's republican governor has signed legislation closing what some are calling the state's hooker loophole that made indoor prostitution legal and allowed more than 60 suspected brothels to operate. in 1990, state lawmakers inadvertently cree ailtsed the loophole passing a law on prostitutes who operated in public. the law was mum about paid sex in private. rhode island was the only state to allow indoor
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prostitution statewide, a fact that the governor gave his state a, quote, terrible distinction. >> back now to america's election headquarters and the new jersey governor's race where weight has become a weighty issue. brian wilson reports that a reference to the republican candidate's considerable circumference has become a big deal. >> in many ways, the battle for the new jersey governor's office has become the battle of the bulge. it started with this ad produced by jon corzine's campaign, initially designed to be a hard-hitting attack on chris christie, accusing christy of be abusing his position when he served as a u.s. attorney. that message may have gotten lost when an updated ad made a not so thinly veiled shot at christie's girth. >> in both cases, christie threw his weight around as u.s. attorney and got off easy. >> the corzine campaign was
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making a not so subtle point for new jersey voters. they can choose as their governor democrat jon corzine, a fit and trim player thon runner or republican or chris christie who has made too many runs to the all you can eat buffet. i'm not saying anything that christie has not said about himself. >> how fat are you? >> pretty fat, don. >> how tall are you? >> 5' 11". >> and you weigh? >> 550 pounds. >> not really, but he is a big man n the waning days of the campaign, christie has taken to making fat joke at his own expense. he challenged corzine to, quote, man up and just call me fat n public interviews at least, corzine has stayed away from the weighty issue, saying only -- >> the issue of how people are presented in political advertisements is not something anybody likes when
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they're in it. >> one has to wonder if it is a sound strategy to make fun of your opponent's weight because you run the risk of offending so many voters. 21% of adults in new jersey are considered fat or obese. more than 1/3 of all children in new jersey are overweight. >> will talking about christie's weight turn out to be a big fat mistake for corzine? corzine spent $23 million of his own money in the campaign and is considered too close to call. christie is hoping when all is said and done, he will be the big fat winner. in washington, fox news. bret: let's look at effect of negative campaigning on voters. martha maccallum is going through some of the exit poll data this evening. hi, martha. >> hi, bret. we have a fun job. we're going through all of the exit polls as they come in throughout the night, based on interviews with nearly 1,500 people in both new jersey and virginia as they were leaving the voting booths.
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now, of course the polls are not closed yet in either state. we are learning quite a bit about what was on voters' minds n new jersey, voters believe that both candidates used attack ads. 72% say corzine went after christie. we saw the reference to his weight. 62%, though, say christie is guilty as well. interestingly, we may see that voters are just getting used to this. it didn't sway many of them. 29% say that had an influence. 71% say the ads had no impact. here is what does matter to voters in new jersey, 31% in the top spot say the economy was foremost on their minds when they walked in there. in new jersey, that's closely married to the issue of property taxes where property traxes are very high and jon corzine promised to bring them down when he was elected
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governor. many governors promised to do that. nobody has succeeded because they need a lot of money to pay bills in new jersey. corruption is in the third spot at 20%. last summer, there were 44 new jersey state officials hauled off in handcuffs that. is fresh in the minds of voters as well. healthcare, we talk about it so much but it is 18%, the fourth most important issue in new jersey. down south the polls will close at 7:00, very soon. in virginia, 46% of those say the economy is the top thing on their minds right now. healthcare is getting more attention in the state of virginia. 25%. taxes was 14%. you can marry that up a bit with the economy, and transportation, which has been a big issue in the debates that have gone on in the state of virginia, mostly over dilapidated highways and the like, 8% of the voters say they were thinking about transportation. we will be here all night. pretty soon we will have a look at how much support for
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president obama and his agenda was on the minds of voters as they walked in today. as the evening heats up, we will tell you why each candidate lost or won depending on what people told us as they left the booths. bret: thank you very much. michael bloomberg is hoping to wind a third term. he is up against william thompson, jr. bloomberg is said to have outspend thompson by more than 10 to 1. we will talk with the fox all-stars here in new york about today e elections and what they mean and that's all coming up after the break. ñ
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when taking ambien cr, don't drive or operate machinery. sleepwalking, and eating or driving while not fully awake with memory loss for the event as well as abnormal behaviors such as being more outgoing or aggressive than normal, confusion, agitation and halluciations may occur. don't take it with alcohol as it may increase these behaviors. allergic reactions such as shortness of breath, swelling of your tongue or throat may occur and in rare cases may be fatal. side effects may include next-day drowsiness, dizziness, and headache. in patients with depression, worsening of depression, including risk of suicide may occur. if you experience any of these behaviors or reactions contact your doctor immediately. wake up ready for your day. ask your healthcare provider for 2-layer ambien cr. >> i believe the republican party will be stronger tomorrow because we will have a republican governor in new jersey. >> i feel very a good about
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the momentum a >> >> it is giving us encouragement but we don't take anything for granted. >> the people that he show up today are the ones that will make the decision. that's the only poll that counts. >> the nancy pelosi agenda of spending out of control, taxing and government regulations is not right for the country. >> i'm looking at what's happening here. they're looking at something else and it's not the people of this district. >> election day 2009, some of the sights and sounds from the candidates an some of the big races we're following. fox news senior political analyst, brit hume and juan williams, and rich lowry, editor of the national review. let's start in new jersey a hot race that looks like it is coming down to the wire. you see the republican, chris christie against the democrat jon corzine and then the independent chris daggett who really a lot of people say how he turns out today, his voters
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will depend on the outcome of this race. brit, what do you think? >> early indications are that the daggett vote may drop. everyone would automatically assume if he well way down into low single digits that that would mean a sure win for chris christie. i don't know that it will turn out this way. this is a remarkable state t shows you how blue it is that this race would be that chose in the middle of a recession with the governor who has been unpopular in a state where corruption ranks among the biggest issues in the election, the economy being very high as well, and yet as close as it is, and we may be here until all hours before we know and we may not know tonight. bret: the president campaigned five times for governor corzine, spent a lot of capital in new jersey trying to rally voters. what do you think about the impact on this race and how it comes out with the white house? >> this is the race that the white house has staked their fortunes on tonight. they don't expect to do that well in virginia. they expect if corzine is able to hold, they will be able to
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say it didn't matter what happened this election night, that it wasn't a vote against president obama, not a vote against healthcare, not a vote against his style of governance and the questions about his foreign policy experience specifically with regard to afghanistan but the key here is almost beyond president obama, about the obama phenomena. in that sense it is do obama's voters come out? that's why he has been in new jersey to stir up the black voters, hispanic voters in places like newark, to try to make an impression on some of the independent white suburban women who went for him last time. that's the key. do they turn out in support of corzine? bret: it comes to turnout. >> this is the race that is going to be the hardest for the white house to explain away if the democrat loses. obama's fingerprints are all over t he has been there repeatedly. the key indicator for democrats who are up in 2010 that they going to be looking at something juan referred to
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is the african-american turnout. in 2008, in the primaries, in the general election, obama was able to turn out the election and making it possible for him to win in north carolina, florida and virginia. if he doesn't get that turnout in new jersey, a lot of democrats will conclude that obama can say lots of nice words for you but is not going to produce the voters. bret: brit, there has been a ton of focus on this new york 23 congressional race in upstate new york where the conservative party candidate doug hoffman looked like he was leading going into election day against bill owens. dede scozzafava dropped out. what about this race? >> what has made this race so interesting is not necessarily its national implications. it is the mellow drama. here you had a situation where it looked like the white house had pulled a brilliant coup,
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nominating the secretary of army leaving an open seat thereby leaving a special election. the democrats nominate add reasonably attractive candidate in owens. dede scozzafava, who really was almost a democrat in her positions, it looked as if there was no way that the white house could loose on this one. along comes this mild mannered slightly nerdy accountant. >> mild mannered nerdy! >> and he ignites the tea party movement. they're furious about scozzafava being so far to the left of the mainstream of the republican party and lo and behold he ends up with the guy with the big chance to win. she drops out, and even as critics are saying look at republicans, they won't tolerate even a centrist like scozzafava, she drops out and endorses the democrat! so it's been a very exciting kind of a week up there in that otherwise not much talked about congressional district, and as of tonight, it may well
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be the conservative nominee who will win. >> i think it's great theater, just as brit was describing. the fact that dede scozzafava would endorse the democrat and the fact that the republican party it seems, is in tote total case os, i'm thinking what does this mean going forward and i don't think it is will be a predictor of how things are handled but i come back to what i mentioned last night. you look to the republican leadership in washington and they all endorsed scozzafava. bret: rich, i want to talk about virginia quick. keye deeds looked like he was going to have trouble grens bob mcdonnell. does that paint a broader picture especially against conservative democrats? >> the white house has been saying deeds was hopeless from the beginning. let's not forget that the chairman of the democratic party nationally, tim kaine,
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is a sitting governor in virginia. they put a lot of effort into this race until they eel lied it was hopeless. in some way, it is bob mcdonnell's likely victory tonight that will have the most national reverberations. he has run a trif rick campaign on the issues, one on taxes, education and transportation. you can see every republican in swing states with a lot of suburbs looking to bob mcdonnell as a model. bret: when we come back, healthcare, the missed deadline and the elections. (announcer) we understand. you need to save money.
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bret: harry reid was asked today if he could finish healthcare reform legislation this year. he said we're not going to be bound by time lines. we need to do the best job we can for the american people,
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essentially saying no, we don't think we can finish it this year. juan, what about this? >> remember, let's go back. they wanted it before labor day. they wanted it done in august. then they said no, we can't do that. that's when the tea parties and opposition became coherent and took over the message. then they came back and said we're going to be able to get this done and we think the opposition will tire. new strategies will emerge. the idea was we will get this done in october but certainly before thanksgiving. then the outlier was well, maybe christmas. now it is in to 2010. the danger was if you go into 2010. that is a midterm election year. it is not just that the republican opposition will become more aggressive, it is that conservative democrats may jump ship. bret: senator reid's spokesperson said it is possible to get it done by christmas, but you had chuck
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schumer saying the most important thing is to get it done right, not quickly. >> if you look at the calendar and look at the measures that republicans can do to delay a vote on this, next neects year looks likely. of course, we have to pass it through the house before it can get to the senate. they schedule add vote for later this week many >> many people say that may shied. >> that may shied. i think the odds favor the votes being there, but i think they have work to do on the issue of abortion and also some work to do on some of the specifics relating to the public option and so on, so there is work to be done in both houses. this is a long way from law. bret: juan mentioned the political landscape in 2010. here is how the house of representatives lays out. democrats hold 256 seats with 2 vacancies and republicans
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hold 177. republicans need 40 seats for take over the majority in 2010. in 2008, john mccain carried are 193 congressional districts. 49 of them also elected democrats to the house. now, if you're one of those representatives in the 49 districts that voted for john mccain, this is an interesting development with not only tonight's election but healthcare reform. >> absolutely. bret, this will be like a bipartisan budget deal that has all the unpopular hallmarks of that, huge cuts in medicare. huge tax increases, except it is not going to be bipartisan. at the end of the day, it won't reduce the deficit either. this is an extremely difficult vote, and it may look even more difficult after tonight, especially if the republicans win these three races. i had a republican senate aide tell me if the race goes the republicans' way, the sound you will hear is three
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canaries dying in a coal mine, especially in new york 23, you could have a very conservative candidate winning a congressional district that barack obama won by five points. what does that tell the 48 or 49 democrats sitting in mccain's districts? bret: juan, do you think it plays directly, tonight's vote, with the decision that the moderate or conservative democrats will have to play on healthcare reform? >> no, but if you're in the opposition, you would be stupid not to say yeah, look at that election, look at the results. i think when we start to see the exit polls we will be able to determine whether or not people said i'm voting in opposition to president obama, voting in opposition to healthcare. we don't know yet. that will count. if you are really opposition, you want ammunition. right now, part of the ammunition has to be put pressure on conservative democrats. i don't think it will stop. i think this is a white house train and they're pushing hard. >> the big political question that has hung over this debate for a long time has been what really happened in 1993 and
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'94 when hillary care, as it was called, a program not at all dissimilar to this one failed and the republicans then swept the table and got control of both houses of congress. democrats will argue if they had passed the thing they would have been better off. critics of that program say the mere fact they got as far as they did, because it was full of unpopular stuff like this one is and the fact they took it as far as they did is a big part of why they got in so much trouble. don't forget, in addition, bret, the big issue still is the economy. o it's not going well. it isn't likely to be going all that much better in terms of the unemployment rate by the time we vote next year. it is going to look to a lot of people like congress and the president took the eye off that ball to focus on healthcare, which is no nowhere near as high of a priority. that is an additional problem for someone else thinking how to vote on this issue. >> president obama did say he wanted it done this year. >> stay tuned for something you probably didn't know about
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najibullah bret: sometimes kept back a ways to learn something interesting about world leaders. conan o'brien's staff did some digging of world leaders high school memories. >> in high school, i was voted most likely to succeed, prom queen, class president by 175% of the school by amid karzai. [laughter] bret: thank you for inviting us into your home tonight. in the meantime, stand by for more fox news election coverage. polls are getting ready to close in virginia. that